This study reports on health status and quality of life (QOL) outcomes in long-term cancer survivors, and potential correlates including cancer type, age at diagnosis, health status, and key sociodemographic variables.
One hundred and ninety-three cancer survivors 5-10 years post-diagnosis completed a mailed survey assessing physical and mental health status, QOL, post-traumatic growth, and impact of cancer (IOC).
Respondents were comparable to population norms on physical and mental health status. After controlling for sociodemographic and medical status variables, older respondents reported better overall QOL (p=0.004) and mental health (p<0.001), but worse physical health (p=0.04). Survivors reporting low income (p=0.02) and comorbidities (p=0.003) indicated worse physical functioning. A higher negative IOC score was associated with worse physical functioning (p<0.0001), worse mental health (p<0.0001), and lower overall QOL (p<0.0001). A higher positive IOC score was associated with better mental health (p=0.0004) and better overall QOL (p=0.005).
Perceptions of how cancer has affected survivors' lives in both positive and negative ways may influence, or be influenced by, their functional abilities and QOL.